Seeing stars: Development and function of retinal astrocytes.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Throughout the central nervous system, astrocytes adopt precisely ordered spatial arrangements of their somata and arbors, which facilitate their many important functions. Astrocyte pattern formation is particularly important in the retina, where astrocytes serve as a template that dictates the pattern of developing retinal vasculature. Thus, if astrocyte patterning is disturbed, there are severe consequences for retinal angiogenesis and ultimately for vision - as seen in diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity. Here we discuss key steps in development of the retinal astrocyte population. We describe how fundamental developmental forces - their birth, migration, proliferation, and death - sculpt astrocytes into a template that guides angiogenesis. We further address the radical changes in the cellular and molecular composition of the astrocyte network that occur upon completion of angiogenesis, paving the way for their adult functions in support of retinal ganglion cell axons. Understanding development of retinal astrocytes may elucidate pattern formation mechanisms that are deployed broadly by other axon-associated astrocyte populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Paisley, CE; Kay, JN

Published Date

  • October 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 478 /

Start / End Page

  • 144 - 154

PubMed ID

  • 34260962

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8542354

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-564X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ydbio.2021.07.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States